Cairo Bank changes name, shifts focus

Wednesday September 02 2020
fina03pix

Mr Maher unveils the rebranded Cairo Bank in Kampala yesterday. Photo | Justus Lyatuu

Cairo International Bank will seek to focus on small and medium enterprises as it takes on a new name.

The bank which yesterday announced the change of name from Cairo International Bank to Cairo Bank Uganda, said the new identity is in line with its parent company’s bid to stand out in an increasingly aggressive banking landscape.

Cairo Bank is a subsidiary of Egypt-based banking group - Banque Du Caire Group.

Mr Ahmad Nada Maher, the Cairo Bank managing director, said the bank has undergone a comprehensive restructuring process since 2019 with focus on boasting operational efficiency and positioning itself to sustainably grow and offer competitive products and services.

“Our market segment,” he said, “is in line with the strategic intent of being the ‘preferred small and medium enterprise bank in Uganda”.

The bank, he said, will focus on offering customers a refreshed banking experience, which will include a wide range of new innovative products and services.

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Key among the innovations, Mr Maher said, will be investment in Internet banking, partnerships with Fintechs and aggregators to provide mobile payment and cash management solutions.

The banking sector is increasingly becoming competitive driven by technological innovations in a highly narrowing space.
Banking has been encroached on by Fintechs, taking away both potential and existing account holders.

However, banks have been forming partnerships to drive new innovations such as bancassurance and agent banking.
Such innovations have not only driven account numbers but have also helped to improve penetration and financial inclusion.

Cairo Bank, which operates in at least five countries, had originally put much focus on linking customers to regional markets such as Comesa. However, it is now seeking to shift and consolidate focus on local markets in countries within which they operate.

The bank, which was incorporated in Uganda in 1995, will also seek to use the new shift to return profitability.

For the year ended December 2019, Cairo Bank posted a loss of Shs2.83b. However, this was a reduction from the Shs3.48b loss, which the bank had posted for the period ended December 2018.

As of December 2019, the bank also saw its assets grow to Shs189b from shs124.7b in 2018. Shareholders’ equity of Sh52.3b.

The bank had previously focused on building products for educational institutions, non-governmental organisations and corporate entities.

Opportunities
Ms Sylvia Jagwe Owachi, the Cairo Bank executive director, said the shift is informed by the opportunities in the SMEs sector, which employs more than 2.5 million people and account for 90 per cent of the private sector credit.
SMEs also account for 20 per cent of gross domestic product.

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